The Escapist Expo: Durham’s Geek Cred on
People often talk about Durham becoming
the next Austin, Brooklyn, Seattle or Portland.
When doing so, they point to the fact that you can get coffee delivered to you by bike, that we have a thriving local food scene, and that we have three of our own breweries. They talk about our up and coming
fashion scene, our amazing hip-hop artists and sculpture artists, our
commission gallery, and our abundance
of hipster bars. All of these elements
are indubitably required, part of the irreducible cultural stew that constitutes
a “hip city.” In Durham, we pride ourselves on this mix: a little pinch of
this, a little dash of that, some basics, some stock, a few surprises and voila, delicious outcomes.
Despite all this Durham pride, one ingredient that rarely manages to make the limelight is our thriving gaming
culture. As geek becomes more the norm
than the outlier for youth, the cities where the next generation chooses to
settle and build their lives (and the resultant economies) will definitely need
things like game development and computing jobs, geek culture, and access to
games (both to purchase and play with others).
And Durham is growing gaming culture in spades.
If you’re looking for proof, just check
out this weekend’s upcoming Escapist Expo
– the first gaming convention of its kind to make Durham home, hosted by
In addition to panels
featuring some of our amazing local game development talent like InsomniacGames, Dice Hate Me, and Epic Games, as well as local geek culture connoisseurs
like Wired Magazine’s “Geek Dad” writer Michael Harrison, Escapist Expo is also
importing some of the best participants from the broader US and overseas. WotC D&D creative manager James
Wyatt will be among the speakers, as
will our favorite fellows from north of the border Graham and
Paul, and Escapist fan favorite limey
Yahtzee Croshaw. We even hear tell that one of the creators of Boardgamegeek.com will be attending.
In this humble writer’s opinion, some don’t
miss panels include Friday’s “Building Worlds in RPGs,” “Everything You Wanted
to Know About D&D Next,” and the sure to be entertaining “Return of the
On Saturday, there are
several great panels lined up that cater to specific audiences, such as “How to
Run a Small Gaming Business” and “Crowdfunding Revolution” as well as “Raising
And lest you think there are
no panels for mere geeks and not gamers, think about checking out “Publishing
Science Fiction and the Internet” or “Cosplay Tips”, the latter of which is
sure to have some of the best dressed attendees showing off their creations.
Beyond panels, activities on offer
include an outdoor laser tag arena, the famed American Classic Arcade Museum
from Laconia, NH, a cosplay contest, console tournaments, and tons of freeplay
areas for all manner of tabletop games, be they RPGs, boards, or cards.
There’s something for everyone, so
Durhamanians (and all North Carolinians) are highly encouraged to attend! Help
the geek and gamer culture of our area keep growing!
See more at their official website Escapist Expo.
And stay tuned, we’ll be back on Sunday, in these pages with full
coverage and tons of pics, so cosplayers in particular keep an eye out for us
Labels: Durham, Pop Culture, technology